Why The 'Dopamine Decor' Trend Is Taking Over TikTok (& Tips To Nail The Look)

At face value, your home may simply seem a place to sleep and cook meals, but it's much more than that. Your abode deeply affects how you feel. In fact, a 2022 study published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health notes that poorer home quality can negatively impact mental health, whereas better conditions can help improve it. If you haven't given much thought to your space or find that you don't necessarily look forward to walking through the door, it might be time to revamp and energize your home.

With your home playing such a vital role in how you feel, it's no wonder that dopamine decorating has not only appeared on our radars but has also garnered so much popularity recently on TikTok. Well, to start, what is dopamine decorating? If you haven't clocked the ultra-playful and bright trend in the last year or so, it's time to get acquainted. Dopamine decorating is a style that's typically similar to maximalism, incorporating bright colors, fun patterns, and uplifting decor. It's meant to "boost" your dopamine — a brain-dwelling neurotransmitter and kidney-produced hormone that's notably involved with pleasure and overall mood. The reason why this form of decorating has inflated on TikTok is likely due to the assumption that colorful, happy decor can help lift your spirits — something many people can get behind. It's also very easy to include this decorating style into your home through either smaller elements like throw pillows or larger statement pieces like furniture.

Why the dopamine decorating trend is all over TikTok

With millions of posts on TikTok alone referring to dopamine decorating, this trend has evident staying power. Of course, dopamine isn't the only hormone that makes you feel good, but the trend isn't really based on exact science, and the name does have a ring to it. The point of it, and why it has seen a spike across TikTok, is to bring a some visual pleasure to a space. A room full of happy paint colors and decor will likely do much more for your mood than builder-grade spaces full of gray and beige shades, even if it's just due to the symbolic or cultural meaning of the colors or how you personally associate with them. 

Dopamine decorating is also a fantastic aesthetic that's hard not to like. Many of the top TikToks have thousands of positive comments and likes, and these quick home tours and tutorials give us a bite-sized ideas on how we can make our own homes vibrant and unique. Not only that, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, there seems to be an emphasis on how important our homes are to us and we're often reminded that we should enjoy being in our spaces. For many, colorful decor and objects seem like the easiest possible way to curate that safe and joyful environment. However, the main point of this trend is to decorate with what makes you happy, even if that doesn't involve super bright colors.

Tips for dopamine decorating

Whether you're fully invested in the trend or just curious about using it to uplift your space, there are a few tips for making the most of dopamine decor. Begin by taking a look at your personal tastes and what often brings you joy. Every person is different, and while one design enthusiast may love a bright yellow couch, another might prefer a set of muted pink coffee mugs and leave it at that. You can look to this trend for inspiration, but mold it in a way that fits into your lifestyle and matches your design preferences.

Another tip is to take your time while filling your space. As one feng shui principle notes, you should never rush to decorate your home. This grates against the natural way a room unfolds and develops over time. Outside of feng shui, it can also quickly sap your budget and leave you with a space that's full of trendy items and colors that you may later realize you don't actually love. Lastly, choose a theme and color palette. You can blend all sorts of shades, but knowing what hues are most important to you and what styles you enjoy will make your home feel more cohesive. For instance, a cottagecore or boho-chic home is going to look very different from a modern or contemporary space that incorporates dopamine decorating.

Big and small dopamine decor ideas

With dopamine decorating defined and several tips and TikTok videos at your fingertips, you're probably wanting some practical ideas on how to bring it into your home. If you live in a rental, have a more compact space, or are sticking to a budget, there are smaller touches you can rely on to infuse dopamine decor into your space. First, think about your soft furnishings like pillows, bedding, blankets, and curtains. These aren't too hard to switch out but really draw the eye in. Art can also be a focal point in a room, especially when you're aiming for dopamine decor. You can create a gallery wall of bold paintings and prints or swap out the frames for art you already have. Peel-and-stick wall decals are also a great way to bring in color and are renter-friendly. In your kitchen, display mugs, kettles, pitchers, and cookware that make your countertops and cabinets pop.

After a larger project or more lasting drama? There are plenty of ideas for that too if you're not working within the constraints of a rental or tight budget. One of the quickest but most impactful is bringing in "dopamine colors" through paint, wallpaper, and tile. This could be a vivid accent wall, a wallpapered reading nook, or a checkered pattern on your bathroom floor. Fixtures (like faucets and showerheads), large appliances, and furniture like couches and accent chairs are also surefire ways to include this happy aesthetic in your home.